So I have spent the past couple of weeks talking about our newly designated national mammal – the bison – and what a big deal it is in these parts. I also offered up some friendly advice to keep you from getting stomped, thrown or otherwise turned into a viral Internet sensation known as “that poor tourist who tried to pet a one-ton wild animal.”
Interfering with nature and taking things with bison way too far, however, is not new for us humans. We came close to completely wiping out 30 million bison by killing them for fun (the way many were hunted was certainly not sport) or as a way to control the American Indian population.
In the early 1900s the bison around here numbered approximately two dozen that were in Yellowstone National Park. Realizing that drastic measures needed to be taken, advocates for this species lobbied the United States Congress and received $15,000 to set up ranching operations in the park’s Lamar Valley.
Some 21 bison were bought from private owners and added to the herd, and from 1907 into the 1950s, bison were bred and raised in a protected Read More